The Makabayan Bloc in the House of Representatives on Thursday denied a statement by Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza, who said the left-leaning lawmakers would support the candidacy of presidential aspirant and Senator Manny Pacquiao in the May 2022 national elections.
Atienza, Pacquiao’s running mate for vice president, made the disclosure at a news forum when asked if Makabayan would endorse their candidacy.
At the same time, Atienza had nothing but praises for Pacquiao, so the latter decided the lawmaker should be his running mate.
“He (Pacquiao) is a good man. I have campaigned for him even before. The public will benefit from his attitude, track record, and capability as a lawmaker,” said Atienza.
The Makabayan bloc is composed of the party-list groups Bayan Muna, Kabataan, Alliance of Concerned Teachers, Gabriela, and Anakpawis.
Former congressman and Bayan Muna Secretary Neri Colmenares -- who is a guest candidate on the senatorial slate of Pacquiao’s ticket -- denied Atienza’s claim.
“Makabayan has not declared support for any candidate,” he said.
In a tweet, Bayan Muna’s first nominee for next year’s elections, Teodoro Casiño, also denied Atienza’s remark.
“Not true. Makabayan has not declared support for any presidential or vice-presidential candidate,” Casiño said.
Earlier, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV claimed Makabayan intended to support presidential aspirant Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso by trying to block opposition coalition 1Sambayan’s nomination of Vice President Leni Robredo as its presidential bet.
The bloc also sought a dialogue with Robredo